POST NEWS UPDATE: Mike Mansury discusses changes to AEW Dynamite’s stage setup & graphics

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

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** Joining Aubrey Edwards and Will Washington for a recording of AEW Unrestricted was co-Executive Producer and Senior Production Executive, Mike Mansury. Mansury admitted that he was not big on the graphics AEW introduced in January 2023 and said it reminded him of a Raw versus SmackDown Survivor Series theme. He spoke to AEW President Tony Khan sometime after and Khan said he wanted a look that resembled the throwback American Gladiators show. Mansury added that as 2023 went on, they moved away from that look. He knew in the summer of 2023 that Dynamite would get a refresh in the new year. He did not want to revert to the original setup and graphics but wanted to pay homage to it.

I believe Winter is Coming 2022 was my first show (for AEW) so in Texas, right? I had learned that on January when we were kicking off the year with Dynamite in Seattle, Washington at the old Climate Pledge, that we were gonna roll out a brand new Dynamite look, a brand new Dynamite set and I was like, alright, cool. That’s great. Something to look forward to. I can’t wait to see it. I didn’t really know what was going on and when we arrived in Seattle that day and I saw the set, it was cool, but it wasn’t my favorite thing. Just speaking honestly here. I’ll be doing that a lot today with our beloved Unrestricted podcast. You have to kind of live up to the title of the show. I saw the new graphics and I am not gonna lie to you, and this has nothing to do with the fact that I spent the bulk of my career there, but I remember walking into Climate Pledge that day and when they were starting to run through elements and stuff, I looked and I was like, ouuu, that looks like Survivor Series sort of look. At this point, I’m maybe three weeks into the job at AEW. I had been out of wrestling for a couple of years at this point, just doing MMA and working with Pat McAfee and his group in Indianapolis. But that was the first thing that hit me, was man, that red and blue and I remember connecting with Tony (Khan) at some point a couple weeks after that show and he’s like, ‘Initially, the direction I’d kind of given the folks’ was he wanted it to look more like the throwback American Gladiators look and I think that was kind of the interpretation of what kind of fell into play. If you noticed as we got later into 2023, we amended it a little bit to kind of get away totally from Raw and SmackDown and the Survivor Series look but, you know, we had known going into that summer that we were going to kind of refresh Dynamite going into 2024. Going into Dynamite #200 I believe it was, we went with a bit of a throwback look, right? With the color, powder burst or whatever and I know that-that was something that resonated very strongly with our fan base. Our fan base, they were very much into that sort of original vibe and it kind of fit into a lot of what we’d been talking about internally when it came to sort of restoring the feeling. So I started to have preliminary conversations with Tony in terms of the new look for next year and also, we’d began talking about the set. That theme was there, that restoring the feeling. But me personally, I didn’t wanna do a full reversion back into what was, right? For me, I was in the mindset of, ‘Let’s pay homage to day one, but let’s also show that AEW is continuing to grow, continuing to evolve.’ So, when I got together with our internal team, both on the in-arena and post-production side and then we also involved the team from W.B.D. as they are phenomenal collaborators to work with.

The conversation shifted over to bringing back the tunnels. He remembers prior to joining the company, there would be times when a camera operator would run to one tunnel, but the talent would be coming out of the other tunnel.

I would remember seeing episodes of Dynamite, the camera guy would run up to catch somebody on their entrance but they would be at the wrong tunnel (he laughed). You know what I mean?… I would just be like, ‘Guys, I don’t care how we figure out, in terms of the communication, we just gotta make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of what tunnel are they coming out of and where the camera needs to be because I don’t wanna have an instance where we’re running up but the camera’s gotta fast whip pan over to the left or the right and be like, oh! That’s where we’re at, that’s who we’re getting, that’s who we’re getting.’

** On night two of WrestleMania XL, Cody Rhodes ended Roman Reigns’ reign as Undisputed WWE Champion. While co-hosting a signing for Fanatics Live, Big E spoke about Rhodes’ title win in addition to his growth and rise. He added that the match was legendary.

Cody (Rhodes), the moment he had, that match… I got chills. It’s always, ‘Finish the story, finish the story.’ It’s finished now.

And just seeing his growth, seeing his rise too. Always a great performer in-ring too, but now, just seeing everything connect outside of the ring as well. What he does with kids, with fans. It feels like he’s always agreeing to be someone’s best man… I don’t know how he finds the time. He has a family of his own. He’s always there for Brodie, for little Brodie, for the Hubers. He does so much for so many people and I think that’s a big reason — it’s one of the reasons I like to talk about is being a champion, being a world champion is not merely about what you do in the ring, it’s not merely about — there’s so much press, there’s so many hospital visits, there’s so much that goes into it and you wanna have someone that you can trust to say the right things, to be there for people especially as a babyface champion and I think Cody embodies that. A lot of the characteristics of (John) Cena that people have come to know and praise, I feel like — and not in a way that’s mimicking Cena or anything but I feel like Cody’s carved a similar lane but his own lane, but someone you can really trust to be that guy in that role… A workhorse for sure… That match was legendary. Classic doesn’t feel like enough of a word to describe that match.

** A live edition of the Wrestling With Johners Podcast was recorded with Flash Morgan Webster as the guest. He revealed that he almost got a match with the late Terry Funk for the Pro Wrestling Chaos promotion in the UK.

At one point, I asked and it almost happened and I almost got to wrestle Terry Funk. I really wanted to wrestle Terry Funk. It almost happened at (Pro Wrestling) Chaos but again, it didn’t.

** At the WrestleMania XL media junket, The Wrestling Classic sat down with Rey Mysterio. Mysterio spoke about Andrade being back in WWE and said he’d love to have him in LWO.

It’s cool, it’s really cool (having Andrade back in WWE). I wish we had him on SmackDown. I would love to have him be a part of the LWO. Maybe one day. Never say never but, I respect his talent, I respect what he does in the ring, he’s an incredible representative of lucha libre and I admire him.

** Joining josephweirdness on Twitch was Chris Hero and with the weekend of wrestling in Philadelphia now being over, Hero reflected on the hectic schedule he would have on those weekends. He misses the hustle of it but does not miss the stress.

Oh, for sure (there’s sometimes the feeling of missing being part of WrestleMania weekend). I have very fond memories of that. I remember one specifically where Zack (Sabre Jr.) and I opened like a W.W.N. showcase show. We were the first match on there. This was down in Texas, 2016, and then he and I beat the sh*t out of each other and then we hopped in a car and drove to Wrestlecon for the Supershow there where we teamed with Brian Cage in the main event to take on the team of Matt Sydal, Ricochet and Rey Mysterio Jr. So opened one show, closed the other. Yeah, very fond memories from all that. I also remember wrestling Masato Tanaka on one of those EVOLVE/Dragongate U.S.A. shows and then he and I hopped in a car to get over to the Wrestlecon show so, a lot of good memories. I don’t miss frantic stress. I don’t miss that but you know what? I get quite a bit of that as it comes whether it’s on a Wednesday or a Saturday.

** Former WWE Vice President of International Communications, Dan Humphreys, joined Boxxer as their Chief Communications Officer. Humphreys and WWE parted ways in 2021.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘Star Navigation’ Results (4/11/24) from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Three-Way Match: Ninja Mack def. Alejandro and Alpha Wolf
– Daiki Inaba def. Yu Owada
– G.L.G. (Anthony Greene, YO-HEY & Tadasuke) def. Mohammed Yone, Atsushi Kotoge & Hi69
– Daga, Yoshinari Ogawa & Ulka Sasaki def. Shuji Kondo, Hajime Ohara & Junta Miyawaki
GHC National Championship: HAYATA def. Jack Morris (c)
– Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Go Shiozaki & Kazuyuki Fujita def. El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., Jake Lee, Masa Kitamiya & Ryohei Oiwa
– Kaito Kiyomiya def. Kenoh

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources, and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8478 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.